2017/18 in edtech: The who's-who

Patrick Hayes

Patrick Hayes is the director of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), the only trade association covering the entire UK educational suppliers sector. BESA has over 80 years of heritage serving UK education and has over 300 members, with a combined annual revenue of £2 billion. Patrick was previously an executive director at TES Global host to the largest network of teachers in the world.

Website: www.besa.org.uk Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image courtesy of author. Image courtesy of author.

A year in edtech in one word? “Bett” - as in the Bett Show (24th - 27th January 2018). The largest edtech show in the world takes place in London every January. Over 900 exhibitors fill the vast hall of ExCeL London, with upwards of 35,000 people visiting from across the globe. From the cutting-edge of virtual reality, to innovative initiatives helping schools cut down on workload and help save money, it’s all there.

Admittedly to a first-timer, it can seem a lot to take in – so some advance planning is useful. Look at the floor plan to locate edtech companies you already know and use, who will give you a warm welcome and show you what exciting new plans they have for the year. But also allow yourself time to wander through the stands and see what grabs your attention. Also, keep a close eye on Twitter – a blizzard of big new announcements about new edtech products or partnerships are made at the show.


The Bett Futures area is always a buzzing hive of activity. Full of new ideas, usually developed by teachers themselves, this is where you see the next generation of edtech products and services activity being forged. Also, the discussions and presentations are always stimulating, giving you lots of ideas for the classroom.


Meanwhile, in June, London EdTech Week brings together a wide range of edtech influencers to engage in debates and showcase new products. Every day of the week there is something exciting happening, from BESA-organised debates about edtech policy in Parliament, to EdTech Exchange networking drinks.


But many of the best edtech events take place throughout the year. To get intimate with the latest developments in edtech, visit one of the many Innovate My School LIVE events scheduled to take place across the country and “speed-date” with some of the best companies to get a dazzling overview of what might work for your pupils.


We at BESA also run debates and discussions that connect edtech companies and educators across the country. Recently we’ve discussed issues ranging from ‘reasons to be cheerful about education’ – where we put aside the doom and gloom and celebrated the profession – to ‘what is the role of the teacher today?’


British edtech companies are renowned the world over, and while many of the best events are in the UK, there are other fantastic events throughout the year across the globe. In America, you have SXSW EDU, the “Glastonbury of edtech” in March, followed by ASU GSV – the largest gathering of edtech start-ups and investors - in San Diego in May, and the conference for school ICT leaders, Texas-based ISTE in June. In China, it has to be GET (Global Education Technology) in Beijing every November. In the Middle East, it’s GESS Dubai, which takes place every March. And in Australia, it’s EduTech, which takes place in June. Bett is also now conquering the world, with landmark events taking place in Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia. Who knows where next?


An essential resource to keep tabs on the movers and shakers in education technology is the EdTech Podcast. The editor, Sophie Bailey, is a perennial figure at all of the best edtech events. Armed with her recording equipment, she’s always at the forefront of activity, asking stimulating questions and identifying new trends. If you have a calendar clash and can’t make it to an edtech event – it’s a safe bet the EdTech Podcast will have been there, and at many more you might not have heard of too!


This article is taken from the Innovate My School Guide 2017/18. To read the full publication, visit www.innovatemyschool.com/guides.

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"